Reading list

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


Food, Chocolate, Design (shown) is a beautifully-designed, stitch-bound book accompanying an exhibition of the same name in Florence, Italy where food craftsmen, bloggers, and designers converge on the topics. Stephen Holl’s Urban Hopes: Made in China collects the architect’s varied projects over the last decade in China, alongside related theory and criticism. And Aero: Beginning to Now celebrates 20 years of studio founder Thomas O’Brien.

MADE Quarterly


As big fans of printed matter, we delight in all the new, well-designed magazines and quarterlies that continue to pop into our world. MADE Quarterly is one of these great publications, with beautiful photography and lay-outs of interesting content on companies like Best Made Co, Uniform Wares, and Earth tu Face, a new California-based organic skin-care line. Based in Melbourne, MADE edition two was just released last week.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


New from HBR Press, entrepreneurs should check out Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value – a look at the contrarian ideas and methods that build successful business. Tom Dixon’s retrospective catalog of his product designs, Dixonary, organizes each of his projects with a photo of an inspiration image, and a paragraph explaining the inspiration and connection. And Formica Forever celebrates the evolution of the material for its 100-year anniversary, designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram.

(Image of Matali Crasset’s Bibliothèque de Plage)

Kern & Burn


Kern & Burn is a new book from Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel, based on the blog “100 Days of Design Entrepreneurship,” a collection of insights, interviews and advice from various successful design entrepreneurs. Illustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt talks of how to “Fail in Good Spirits,” and Peter Buchanan-Smith, founder of Best Made Co, implores readers to “Start Making.” For further glimpses into the great inspiration in the book, Fast Co. collects a few great tidbits from more leaders like Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby Parker, and Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb.

Good Enough to Eat (Read?)


For those times when you finish off a sandwich so good, you wish you had something to remember it by…designer Pawel Piotrowski created his own one-of-a-kind, perfectly layered and handcrafted ham sandwich, in book form. Its breaded cover is a close-up image of soft wheat slices, and each ingredient (page) has its own great look and feel. Crinkled, folded lettuce contrasts with the smooth white and yellow of a fried egg. All a rare form of appreciation of the sandwich form.

Bookshelf: What We’re Seeking to Read


Lovers of typography will be happy to pour over Unit Editions’ latest, Type Only, celebrating the trend in graphic design for type unsupported by graphics or images. Index Books’ Bestiary explores the use and fascination with all things animal in art and design. And Gestalten’s new Inside : Culture Identities is a look at the stellar graphic design work done for cultural institutions, museums and theaters.

(Image of Hidden Tri-lingual Library)

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


Dan Saffer’s Microinteractions makes an argument for astute attention to detail in design. And magazine blog MagCulture founder Jeremy Leslie will soon release The Modern Magazine: Visual Journalism in the Digital Era, a look at the innovations in the last 10 years of magazine publishing. Taschen’s second volume of Wood: Architecture Now! looks to be a great collection of contemporary applications of wood within architecture.

(Image of Underground Library)

Books Covering Walls

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Penguin continues to push the boundaries of book cover design – this time taking their cover designs to the streets. The publishing co. asked 10 graffiti artists to create an interpretation of 10 of their moden classics. The results are surprising and great – Stephen Powers’ Lights Out for the Territory by Iain Sinclair, painted by hand on glass, Dr. Jekyll’s dripping, layered American flag for Don Delillo’s Americana, and Italian artist Agostino’s terrific painting on the side of a barn for Nick Hornby’s How to be Good.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


Moving: Norman Foster on Art accompanies the exhibition of the same name that Foster curated to mark the 20th anniversary of the building of his design, Musée d’art Contemporain. Taschen recently released Game Changers, a 300-page collection of the groundbreaking advertising work that shaped the industry over 60 years. Tokyo Craft Guide is a great companion for those who love Japan’s crafting culture, with helpful maps and recommendations on the tiny hobby stores that dot the city.

(Image of NY’s Little Free Library)

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


Learn to grow food in small spaces using simple tools with Antonio Scarponi’s ELIOOO, which employs a simple system of hypdroponics. Kern and Burn recently released Conversations with Design Entrepreneurs, a great collection of interviews with 30 designers on their successes, failures, process and outlook. And Animation Sketchbooks reveals the creative processes of a host of animators working in various styles and ways – Adam Elliot, David Shrigley, and Mirai Mizu, to name a few.

(Image of Tilt’s Open Book Chair)

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